How it works:
- They work in a gang – one onlooker, one blocks, pushes, distracts, or engages you, one grabs and the final hides the loot under a cover (e.g. jacket/newspaper) and escapes.
Places to beware:
- Alajuela: Rio Chollin (La Fortuna de San Carlos)
- Guanacaste: Tamarindo Beach
- Puntarenas: Playa Santa Teresa; Parque Nacional Marino Ballena (Uvita), Jaco Beach (Jaco), Playa Manuel Antonio (Manuel Antonio)
- San Jose: Iglesia de la Merced
What to do:
- Passport: carry a photocopy instead of the actual one.
- Valuables: wallet in front pocket, small valuables in a money belt/hidden pouch, large valuables in an anti-theft bag.
- Travel insurance: get a good one that covers theft (e.g. World Nomads, trusted by Lonely Planet and National Geographic – review).